3 Small Business Takeaways from MLB’s Opening Day

Author: Justin Reynolds | April 6, 2015

Major League Baseball will kick off the 2015 season, today, April 6th—a week later than the first games were held last year. Still, Opening Day means the same thing every year: a fresh start, as all 30 teams have the identical, unblemished 0-0 record.

We figure you might be stuck at the office wishing you were at the ballpark today. While we can’t help you there, we can help you think about baseball while also thinking about growing your business. With that in mind, let’s take a look at three baseball-related tips from MLB’s Opening Day that can benefit your business:

1) Don’t dwell on past failures.
It’s never fun to fail. But learning from those failures is critical if you plan on succeeding in the future. The 20 MLB teams that didn’t make the playoffs last year have their sights set on October 2015, not October 2014. Instead of reliving what went wrong last year, they’ve spent the offseason and spring training working on their mechanics and trying to get better. You can’t win them all, but you can prepare yourself to do your best the next time you step to the plate.

In the business world, sometimes failure can produce amazing unintended results. Case in point: the Post-It note. Believe it or not, the classic note paper was created completely by accident. Working for 3M in 1968, Spencer Silver was charged with the task of building a super strong adhesive to be used in the airplane manufacturing process. He failed spectacularly, inventing a weak adhesive that didn’t leave a mark when it was peeled off a surface. Nearly 50 years later, it’s pretty evident that Silver’s failure was a very successful one for 3M.

2) You can never count the underdog out.
While there might be a leader in your industry that consistently dominates all relevant categories each year, there’s plenty of evidence that proves these juggernauts don’t win all the time. Most people probably didn’t think the Kansas City Royals had a shot at the American League pennant last year, but somehow they wound up in the World Series (losing, of course, to our beloved San Francisco Giants).

Seven years ago, Google Chrome didn’t exist (it was released in September 2008). Today, it’s America’s most popular browser (though Google is certainly no longer an underdog). Similarly, your business doesn’t have to settle for being the second best. As underdogs have proven time and time again, they’re perfectly capable of stealing the spotlight and thriving on the main stage.

3) No one knows who this year’s World Series winner will be.
We’d be lying if we said we didn’t want the Giants to win their fourth title in six years this fall. But the season’s just begun, and as today’s standings indicate, all teams have an equal shot at a World Series title, regardless of what’s happened in the past.

If your business hasn’t yet won its proverbial World Series ring in some time, don’t sweat it: This year could very well be yours. All you need to do is show up to the park every day and give it your all.

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